CHALABI WATCH….Ahmed Chalabi’s supporters are pissed, and they’re letting the Bush administration know it:

Last Saturday, several of these Chalabi supporters said, a small delegation of them marched into the West Wing office of Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, to complain about the administration’s abrupt change of heart about Mr. Chalabi and to register their concerns about the course of the war in Iraq. The group included Richard N. Perle, the former chairman of a Pentagon advisory group, and R. James Woolsey, director of central intelligence under President Bill Clinton.

….Last Saturday, participants in the meeting with Ms. Rice and her deputy, Stephen Hadley, said Ms. Rice told them she appreciated that they had made their views known. But she gave no hint of her own opinion, participants said, and made no concessions to their point of view.

Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, also attended the meeting.

Now that sounds like a charming scene, doesn’t it? The story goes on to say that although Chalabi’s supporters outside the administration have been vocal in supporting him, “there has been relative silence so far from Mr. Chalabi’s supporters within the administration.”

In other words, the people who actually know what’s going on are keeping their mouths shut, and the people who don’t are too dumb to follow their lead.

I guess there’s no way of knowing for sure who’s right here ? although my money is very definitely on the folks keeping their mouths shut ? but when this has all played itself out there’s sure going to be someone whose credibility is forever flushed down the toilet.

POSTSCRIPT: It’s worth noting, though, that the source of this story is the Chalabi supporters. But if Chalabi turns out to be guilty as charged, having this meeting publicized to the world in the New York Times will make them look like complete idiots. So apparently, after a week of snooping around and trying to figure out what’s going on, they’re sure enough of being right that they decided to leak word of this meeting anyway. Very odd.